5 Reasons to buy a Predator Generator from Harbor Freight

Predator Generator : Built by Harbor Freight, the Predator Generator is the darling of Electricians. An incredibly reliable, ridiculously easy to maintain value portable generator. 

Predator Generators from Harbor Freight : Harbor Freight Generators a discount tool and generator manufacturer  with over 7,000 items in categories including automotive, air and power tools, shop equipment and hand tools is the maker of the Predator Generator.

Reviews : Read on to learn about the most popular Predator Generators like the Predator Generator 8750 and read reviews from actual Harbor Freight Generator customers.

Aggressive Pricing : Harbor Freight's Predator range of Generators is aggressively priced to undercut Honda Generators. They are great value generators for their price.

Great Quality : Harbor Freight Generators has been delivering quality products for over 40 years and customers regularly rate them for superior value and top quality.

Here’s a list of the best Predator Generators:

Predator 8750
  • 420cc / 13 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine, UL listed circuit breakers
  • Electric start with recoil back up
  • 12 hour run-time @ 50% capacity
View Latest Price
Predator 4000
  • 212cc,6.5 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine
  • Heavy duty 1 in. steel roll cage
  • 10 hours run-time @ 50% capacity
View Latest Price
3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
  • 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
  • 11 hour run-time @ 25% capacity
  • Digital LCD Screen with low oil
View Latest Price
Predator 2000 Portable Inverter Generator
  • 79.7cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
  • 6-1/2 hours run-time @ 50% capacity
  • Fully enclosed high-impact housing
View Latest Price
Predator 13500
  • Powered by a 22 Horse Power gasoline OHV engine
  • Will run 7.5 hours at 50% capacity
  • Enough power to run your AC or Heating and the usual Computers, Lights, Pumps and Refrigerator
View Latest Price

Why buy a Harbor Freight Generator ?

Killer Performance : These Harbor Freight Generators are aptly named "Predator "as they are devouring the competition. These generators are built to over perform and priced to undercut the competition..

Harbor Freight's entire range of Generators performs consistently in Consumer Reports reviews.  In Review after review they rate the Harbor Freight Generators as the best value for money. 

History of Reliability : Built on a design platform that has proved rugged and reliable these Harbor Freight Generators have been delivering value for the last 40 years. That gives them a huge competitive advantage.  On to the Pros & Cons :

5 Reasons to buy a Predator Generator

Reason 1 : Price

Lowest Cost : One of the main reasons for the great success of the Predator Range is their extremely competitive pricing.  

All the Predator Generators are price leaders with either the lowest or close to the lowest price in their category making them enormously attractive for buyers.

Reason 2 :  Reliable

Mr Reliable : Do you know that the Rockets we use today including the Saturn Rockets used by Spacex were manufactured 50 years back.  That's because they are so well made that they're still the real deal. These generators takes a page from Spacex.

Long Lasting : The Harbor Freight Generator was engineered with reliability as the front and center goal.

A rugged steel frame is the hallmark of all Predator Generators an a central structural center piece of the design.  

The steel frame prevent Generator shake and increases the longevity of the generator. Its very common to see Predator Generators lasting well beyond the lives of many of their pricier competitors.

Reason 3 :  Easy Repair and Convenient Design

Easy Maintenance and Repair : These Generators are usually the darling of your neighborhood Electrician  because all the spare parts and the design are generic and applicable to many other common tools.  

You will have the lowest maintenance bills with a Harbor Freight Generator. Most automotive, power tool and shop equipment technicians prefer these generators because of their robust design.

Multiple Outlets : Most Predator Generators boast of five or more 120 volt, 20 amp outlets.  Each of these can power your construction tools or your hair dryers, refrigerators, TVs, radios and coffee makers.

Furthermore, the larger Predator generators have a  30A twist-4prong 120V / 240V outlet that you can use for heavy tools and your AC.  

Safety is paramount, every Harbor Freight Generator has breaker reset buttons along with a ground knob to connect to your household electrical panel ground.

Reason 4 :  Motor

Work Horse Motor : The Motor that powers these Generators is very similar to the motor that powers your Lawn Mower and your Go Kart. 

Thats an enormous advantage as it is well understood and extremely rugged. It needs more care in terms of oil changes and clean air filters.

That is a small price to pay for such a hard working reliable work horse.

Reason 5 : Gravity Tank & Carburetor

Gravity Fed Fuel Tank : They have a fuel tank up top that is easy to fill and more importantly allows fuel to flow down naturally assisted by gravity.

Less chance of chokes and blockages and you eliminate the fuel pump and thus another potential part that could break down.

The Predator Generator carburetor is over sized when compared to other similar generators.  The larger air fuel mixture leads to an easy start : Predator Generators tends to always start on the first pull, unlike others which may take some time to warm up.

The Con's of buying a Harbor Freight Generator

  1.  Lack Portability : They are larger than their more expensive competitors and not easy to move around.  
  2. Noisy :  An old reliable design, but definitely noisy. Unless you go for the Inverter based Predator Generators which are super quiet.
  3. Warranty :  The Warranty terms are a little on the lighter side, reflective of their steep discounted prices. However, it is offset by their serviceability ( any local shop can work on them)  and great design which requires little or no maintenance.

Things to Consider before Buying a Harbor Freight Generator

Before you decide on a model to buy, you need to make sure it'll fit your needs.  You should evaluate if you can afford the sticker price of the generator. Next make sure you are ok with the running costs, and finally ask yourself if it can provide enough power for your family.

So, ask yourself these questions before you choose a model to buy.

What's your Budget?

The Generator will cost you  $600 or more, perhaps even a couple of thousand bucks. Yup, generators are a complex assembly of mechanical and electrical parts and are expensive. ​

The good news is that you are paying significantly less compared to other higher priced brands like Honda.  And, all that will pale in insignificance when you are and the family are safe and snug during the next big storm or outage.


The Predator range of Generators are all  portable to varying degrees.   Wheels and handles make them fairly easy to move around.

The higher power generators are heavier and more bulky, but they can still be moved around by a single person. 

The higher power output generators as well as the generators which are quieter tend to be more expensive.  

So its a choice, you want to  power more devices and appliances with a noisy but cheaper Predator Generator, or you if you like your sleep and choose the quieter more expensive Predator Inverter Generator.  


Once you have a good idea about the type of of generator and the budget you are ready to outlay, you will have to get a good estimate of your energy needs.

Consumer Reports has a great  article to help your compute the energy needs of your family per day?  Then you have to make an estimate of how much backup power you need for your family.

Depending on the distance from the nearest fuel or propane outlet,  any special medical equipment that needs power or if you are far from a city center and could be out for days of power : you estimate how much power you need. 

Do you need enough for a night, one day or for a few days ?  And you go from there.  

Final Decision

Once you have a good idea of your requirement, you will arrive at the correct size  ; perhaps a choice of two possible models.

And there you have it. Let get down to the brass tacks now and see the various options available in the market.

Predator 8750 : Harbor Freight Generator

Predator 8750 - Quick Specs

predator generator 8750

Predator 8750

Starting Watts : 8750 watts

Running Watts:  7000 watts

420cc / 13 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine

Electric start ( Battery not included)

Weight : 183 lbs

Sound Level : 76 dB

12 hrs operation at 50% capacity

Outputs : Two 120 volts, 20A duplex outlets-3 prong, One 120V, 20A twist lock outlet-3 prong, One 240V, 30A twist-4prong, One 12V DC outlet

What can the Predator 8750 power

Predator Generator 8750 Power

Predator 8750 : Predator Generator Customer Review 

Sam from New England is very happy with the Predator 4000 : I run this during our long winters and the generator is its not too noisy at 72 dB.  I have sensitive electronics and I did take the trouble to purchase a separate power stabilizer. All the power outlets have resettable fuses : thats good safety.

In the last 3 years I have one leakage from a bad gasket, but it was an easy fix as these generators use such common parts. I got it on Amazon for $25 bucks. The generator is heavy, so get a set of wheels. This is a 5 star for my needs : good value and its been running along well for over 3 years now.

Predator  8750 Customer Review I :   I am a long time Predator owner and I have a 4000 watt unit for the last 3 years.

I recently purchased the 8750 to run my Millermatic Welder and a couple of Jackhammers. The 8750 was able to easily handily the load of the Welder and the Jackhammers. Super Pleased.

Bottom Line Yes : I would recommend to a friend in a heartbeat.

Predator 8750 Customer Review II :   This Generator is really handy for our cold winters.  Heavy Snow and Strong Winds almost always cause long winter time power outages

The 8750 is hooked up with a transfer switch and it is now powering three circuits in my home. Its output is safe for electronics like my Fridge and Computer. I had a bad experience earlier with cheaper generators. I couldn't be happier.

Predator 8750 : Video Review

See the Predator 8750 Generator on Amazon

Predator 4000 : Harbor Freight Generator

Predator 4000 - Quick Specs

predator generator 4000

Predator 4000

Starting Watts : 4000 watts

Running Watts:  3200 watts

212cc,6.5 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine

Low oil indicator / low oil shutdown

Weight : 99 lbs

Sound Level : 70 dB

12 hrs operation at 50% capacity

Outputs : Two 120 volts, 20A duplex outlets-3 prong, One 240V, 30A twist-4 prong, One 12V DC outlet

What can the Predator  4000 power

Predator Generator 4000 Power

Predator 4000 : Customer Reviews

Predator  4000 Customer Review :  I have a story  : I run a machine shop and we use the large 30 inch Shop Fans to cool us in the Texas heat. 

This generator ran continuously everyday for 10 hours in a dirty assembly area for 3 months. Always started on the first pull and it ran on till it ran out of gas. Just flawless and very impressive. 

Thereafter, my generator sat unused and unserviced for 2 years till Harvey hit us. I tentatively took out the Generator which hadn't had an oil change or a fuel tank drained out.

I drained the fuel tank, cleaned the carburetor and added fuel and it started again on the very first pull. Unbelievable. This time I ran it continuously for 9 days.

I ran two refrigerators (one 19 cf and the other 24 cf), a freezer (14 cf) and a window AC unit (12,000 btu) running all of the time with some lights and the TV occasionally. 

I took some precautions and balanced the load between the outlets and used 12ga extension cords on all appliances to avoid overloading the generator and burning out its fuse.  This Generator is simply the best and is highly highly recommended.

Predator 4000 : Predator Generator Video Review

See the Predator Generator 4000 at Amazon

Predator Generator 3500 : Inverter Generator

3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
15 Reviews
The Predator 3500 is a quiet generator from the Harbor Freight range. At 57 db, compared to over 70db for regular portables, it is great for the camping and RV trips. A power load of 3500 watts gives you enough power to run a window AC, your computer, printer, lights and TV. Alternating heavier loads will make your generator run up to 11 hours on one gas tank load.

There are 2 AC 120 volt output plugs and one 3 prong 120 volt outlet for your RV. The DC charging outlet can be used to charge your car or RV Battery. An LCD display and convenient overload, low oil and output indicator rounds out the Predator 3500 Generator.

The unit weighs 110 pounds and comes with small caster wheels. Buyers advise replacing the wheels as the caster wheels are little smaller than desirable.

Predator 3500 Customer Review

Predator 3500 Customer Review  :  The unit is small, quiet and uses surprisingly little gas. The LCD display is very informative and give you all critical information except the amount of gas remaining.

I ran my RV AC and lights and everything ran just fine. The wheels are small and I replaced them. Ther original wheels are 3″ and I replaced them with 6″ wheels. I used an 1/2 ” electric motor arbor shaft as the axle extensions, worked perfectly and it cost me under $50.

Predator Generator 3500 :  Video Review

See the Predator 3500 on Amazon

Predator 2000 Portable Inverter Generator

Predator 2000 Inverter Generator

This is the smallest Predator Generator.  Powered by a 2.8 Horse Power gasoline OHV engine, the Predator 2000 Inverter Generator is rated for 1,600 watts of continuous output with a surge output of 2000 watts.

This portable Harbor Freight Generator is great for RV, camping and boating trips. It will take care of all your lighting communication and entertainment needs.  

The Predator 2000 will run 6.5 hours at 50% capacity. It has two 120 volt, 20 amp outlets and one DC 12 volt two pin outlet.

Like all Harbor Freight Generators, the Predator 2000 has a  high-impact housing and standard electronic overload protection.  Start up is standard recoil.

The light weight 47.5 lb Harbor Freight Generator can be connected in parallel with a second Predator 2000 Inverter Generator to double its capacity to 3200 running watts.

Like all Gasoline powered generators, keep your  Predator 2000 outdoors or in a very well ventilated area. Luckily unlike other Harbor Freight Generators the Predator 2000's 61 db operating noise level is relatively peaceful. 

Predator Generator 2000 Customer Review

Predator  2000 Customer Review :   We were without power after hurricane Maria for over 8 months and this Generator has been running every day. 

I have been very careful with changing the oil and periodically cleaning the generator. Its been a life saver. But, changing oil is a must.

Predator Generator 2000 :  Video Review

See the Predator 2000 on Amazon

Predator 13500

predator generator 13500

This is the largest Portable Predator Generator.  Powered by a 22 Horse Power gasoline OHV engine, the Predator 13500 Generator is rated for continuous power generation of a whopping 11,000 watts with a surge output of 13500 watts.

That is enough to run a medium sized home with heating, cooling, lighting and all communications.  The Predator 13500 will run 7.5 hours at 50% capacity - which is great - during a power outage. 

That's enough power to run your AC or Heating and the usual Computers, Lights, Pumps and Refrigerator etc without running out of juice. 

The Predator 13500 has the trademark Harbor Freight Generator high-impact housing and standard electronic overload protection.  This powerful Predator Generator the convenience of an electric start.

The lifting hook wheel kit comes standard with the Predator 13500 and that is something you do need as the 375 lb Harbor Freight Generator is a heavy weight literally as well.  

Best to keep the Predator 13500 outdoors or in a very well ventilated enclosure as it is  not quiet : 78 db operating noise level is not conducive to conversations.

Generator Care

The  gas-powered Predator Generators will run smoother and longer if you use a  fuel stabilizer.  When you leave your Generator with Fuel in its tank there is a danger of gum, varnish, rust and corrorsion occuring.

Adding a Fuel Stabilizer will prevent the occurrence of these problems and also increase the life of the generator.

Carburetor Care -If you are an infrequent user of the Portable Generator you must drain the carburetor.  A dirty carburetor can cause a lot of problems starting and running the generator smoothly.

Ventilation and Carbon Monoxide mitigation : The Predator Generators exhaust contains the deadly carbon monoxide gas. This poisonous gas is odorless and you cannot see or smell it.

Never run your Predator generator indoors or even in semi enclosed areas like a garage. Always run the unit outdoors and far from Vents, Windows or even doors and crawl spaces.  And be sure to install Carbon Monoxide alarms inside your home. 

Precautions while using a Predator Gasoline Generator :  Gasoline is highly flammable and explosive. You should be very careful not to overfill the fuel tank.  Leave some air in the fuel tank to allow the gasoline to expand.

An over full gas tank sometimes can result in fuel overflowing onto the hot engine causing  a major fire or explosion.

Refueling your Generator :  Never ever add gasoline while your generator is operating or has been recently operated.  Make sure the Generator is completely cool to touch before adding fuel.

Storage :  Storing it in open space is the best. You would not want gasoline vapors to reach an open spark or a flame or even a pilot light.  And never smoke near the generator or any stored fuel.

In Conclusion

Conclusion :  We wish the warranty support on Harbor Freight Generators was a little more robust like the support from the top line Honda Generators.  

However, given the huge price differential,  robust   design, easy maintenance and their ubiquitous availability; Harbor Freight Generators score every time as the best buy for your hard earned dollars.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the Predator Generators and  their customer reviews. Thank you for visiting MySolarHome.us

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Last update on 2023-03-26 at 13:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Author: Jon

A Solar energy professional with ten years of marketing and installation experience. Avid and passionate about the adoption of solar and related technologies in all homes. Blogs about all things solar and sustainable at MySolarHome.us.